What steps should I take after I have been injured in an accident?
If you have been injured in an accident due to someone else’s negligence, you will want to take immediate action to ensure you receive the medical and legal assistance you need. In the aftermath of an accident, it may seem overwhelming to consider taking legal action against the person who injured you. However, your accident may leave you with thousands of dollars in medical expenses and lost wages. To avoid being stuck with these large bills on your own, you must take some basic steps to protect your legal rights. Our Albuquerque, New Mexico personal injury attorneys outline the timeline of a typical personal case below.
- The Accident
Accidents happen unexpectedly to thousands of people across the U.S. every day. While some accidents are just that, pure accidents, others can be attributed to the actions or inactions of another person. Accidents that may have been caused by another’s negligence include car accidents, slip and falls, medical malpractice incidents, injuries due to defective products, and much more. Following any accident, gather witness names and take pictures, if you are able.
- Seek Medical Treatment
Immediately following the accident, you will want to seek medical attention. Your injury should be promptly treated for the sake of your health, and swift medical treatment will also be important for your later personal injury action.
- Contact an Attorney
As soon as you are able, you will want to contact a personal injury attorney to assist in your potential case. You can research online or ask for recommendations from loved ones. Your attorney will likely want to meet with you in person to start the case. At times, the attorney will be able to meet you while you are still in the hospital.
- Investigations and Filing a Claim
Once you retain the assistance of an attorney, he or she will initiate investigations into the accident. This could include documentation of the scene of the accident, speaking to witnesses, and gathering medical records. With vital evidence gathered, your attorney will likely start the claims process. Depending on the unique facts surrounding the accident, your attorney may file a claim with the at-fault party’s insurance company or open a case in court.
If the claim is not settled through insurance and a personal injury action is filed, the lawsuit will start with discovery. During discovery, you will need to disclose certain information to the defendant and you can request information that will help your case. Your attorney will hone your case strategy and witness list.
- Settlement or Trial
Ultimately, most personal injury cases will settle before trial. A few cases will go all the way to trial. A personal injury trial can be complex, but with the assistance of an experienced personal injury lawyer you can successfully achieve a strong verdict at trial.
Posted in: Personal Injury